Why is there such controversy over the Judith Kerr school site?

Parents in Herne Hill have launched a petition urging planners to protect a playing field at Judith Kerr Primary School (JKPS), 62-68 Half Moon Lane from being sold off for development by the Dulwich Estate.  The Dulwich Estate has recently announced it would like to build sheltered housing for older residents on the site.

State school JKPS leases its buildings and grounds from The Dulwich Estate, an education charity that counts Dulwich College, Alleyn’s and James Allen’s Girls’ School among its beneficiaries. However, not all the land at the site is leased by the school and the lease terms specify that the green space not leased by the school can be sold and developed into residential housing at any time, subject to planning permission from Southwark Council.

James Roberts, a spokesman for the parents’ Green Space Campaign, said the group was urging the council to change the status of the field to “Open Space” in order to protect it.

The New Southwark Plan preferred option is to designate JKPS green space to ‘Other Open Space’. The petition asked respondees to register support to ensure the designation of ‘Other Open Space’ is approved.    Southwark Council are not yet in a position to say what the final outcome is likely to be as the consultation has just closed.

In the meantime, the Dulwich Estate has said it has submitted representations to the council concerning the land at 62-68 Half Moon Lane for possible use as subsidised sheltered housing for elderly people.  It also plans a public consultation exercise.   See The Dulwich Estate Statement about the Almshouses

What are the issues with the lease?

Further background (courtesy of the Dulwich Estate June 2015):

“….The establishment of a school in this location was not under the control of nor encouraged by the Estate.

The CfBT Schools Trust took an assignment of the building lease from King’s College London in the clear knowledge that the remaining term of the lease was relatively short. The Estate was approached with a view to securing a longer tenure in order that the School could obtain the substantial funding required to convert the premises for use as a school from the Education Funding Agency.

The agreement between CfBT Schools Trust and the Estate was reached in order to accommodate the Trust’s aim of securing the future of the School in the longer term. The Trust was well aware that in consideration for this, the area of the site to be occupied by the School going forward would not be the whole site. The Trust chose to establish a school in this location on the basis of this agreement, i.e. that the Estate would take back part of the original site…”

The lease from The Dulwich Estate stipulates that JKPS is not allowed to object to planning permission.  Therefore the JKPS Green Space Campaign was established to prevent the school from losing the playing field on behalf of the school, its children and the local community. The lease further restricts the school, CfBT and the school’s governing body from opposing the planning application(s).

 

 

Published: 26 Feb 2016

Have your say on the future of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club and Champion Hill site

Dulwich Hamlet FC and Hadley Property Group are proposing a new state-of-the-art stadium for the club, in addition to an enabling development of 155 new homes and new leisure facilities for the use of the whole community.  Have your say at a public exhibition on Saturday 27th February 11am – 2pm at the Dulwich Hamlet FC Ground (adjacent to Sainsbury’s, Dog Kennel Hill).

Further details at:

DHFC Future Plans and DHFC Feedback Form

Calling Accountants, Bookkeepers – can you help the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust? (remunerated role)

The Herne Hill Velodrome has enjoyed a great renaissance over recent years with participant cyclists at an all time high. Building on this, the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust has secured funding and is about to reinvigorate the pavilion at the track in order to safeguard this historic site and help develop the Bradley Wiggins of tomorrow.

To support this increasing activity, the Trust is looking for someone with accounting and book keeping experience to help the Trustees run the track’s operational activities whilst the pavilion is re-built, due to complete Jan 2017.

The role would involve working with the Trust’s Treasurer and would include helping to manage the books and records of the Trust, closing the month end accounts and making associated filings.

The time commitment is flexible and would require between half a day and a day per week.

The role would be paid and terms will be discussed with interested candidates.

The successful candidates will require a background in book keeping and / or have a relevant accounting qualification.

If you are interested in this then please contact Hillary Peachey on 07917 688373 or email hillary@hhvt.org

The future of the Half Moon pub – in the balance?

After the euphoria about the Half Moon pub reopening following a closure of more than two and half years, it now seems its future is once again in the balance.

Fuller’s have submitted a planning application for a gastropub-style operation with a large kitchen and eating area taking over the internal parts of the pub formerly used as a music venue.  Local activists have been vigorously campaigning to get the music venue restored, and the planning application has attracted more than 200 comments, mostly objections, with a petition to save the music venue so far reaching more than 7000 signatures.   The pub has been designated as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) which campaigners see as a step towards saving the pub as a music venue for the community.

Now Fuller’s have made it clear that they don’t plan to run it as a music venue as they claim it is outside their field of expertise.  It is also clear that Fuller’s leasing the pub from the Dulwich Estate is dependent on getting planning consent for the restaurant and the deal will fall through if planning consent fails and/or they are required to provide a music venue inside the building which they are not interested in providing.  The Estate are challenging the ACV designation of the Half Moon Public House  as it “protects the use of the property as a public house only – it does not secure any part of the premises as a venue for live entertainment since this is ancillary to the primary use of property as a public house. The planning application by Fullers does not propose any change of use to the ground floor which will remain as a public house.”

Expect a battle royal between Fuller’s and the campaigners at the sub-planning committee hearing currently scheduled for 8th March.  If Fuller’s exit, local campaigners may look to take the pub into community ownership and run it as a music venue.

What would you like to see happen at the Half Moon?   Is the loss of a music venue a showstopper or would you be happy to see it reopen as a gastropub helping to increase footfall for local shops?

Further reading: Statement from the Dulwich Estate Half Moon Pub ACV designation

Fuller’s statement on the Half Moon Pub

Latest from Save the Half Moon campaign:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/savethehalfmoon/permalink/1290919570925650/

Sign the Petition to Save the Half Moon as a music venue